9 November 2020 - 11:17
  • News Code: 309335
NIOC Signs 13 Research Deals with Universities

TEHRAN (Shana) -- National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) recently signed 13 agreements with Iranian universities and research centers worth €35 million plus IRR 7,160 billion for conducting research on enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh, who was in attendance at the signing ceremony, said currently 50% of oil and gas reservoirs in Iran had been assigned to universities for study.

“If with 1% enhanced recovery, 7.5 billion more barrels are recovered from a reservoir of 750 billion barrels, it would amount to $300 billion with oil price at $40 per barrel. That is while the costs would hardly reach $100 million,” the minister said.

Zangeneh also touched on studies under way for enhancing recovery from the Azadegan oil field, saying: “These studies have now reached a stage where the field’s recovery rate can be improved to generate about $200 billion wealth for the country.”

Upstream Technology Development

Minister Zangeneh said specialized manpower, research, professional capacity and management, systems and implementation regime constituted the four pillars of technological development in the upstream petroleum industry.

“In the manpower, thanks to efforts that commenced in 1998, our universities are in good conditions in the upstream oil sector,” he added.

Zangeneh recalled that in 1998, only five to six university professors were active in the upstream oil sector, but now a large number of graduates are involved in the upstream activities.

“The first pillar of technology development is specialized force, fortunately we have it already,” he said.

Regarding research, the minister said significant investment had been made in equipping laboratories.

“Good progress has been made in this sector and we are moving in a direction where our universities can conduct studies to enhance the recovery rate of reservoirs, and this issue is of high significance to us,” said Zangeneh.

The minister laid emphasis on upgrading the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) and Petroleum University of Technology (PUT) in the research sector, saying: “Both RIPI and PUT have signed agreements to study oil and gas fields, but that is no question of monopoly. Unlike rivalry, monopoly is by no means good.”

Regarding the third pillar, i.e. professional capacity, Zangeneh said there is potential for the development of technology.

“Iranian E&P companies constitute an example of creating professional capacities in Iran,” he added.

The minister emphasized the significance of the professional capacities in E&P, general contractors, EPD contractors, drilling, drilling services and upstream consultants for reservoirs, saying: “We are currently facing shortages in the upstream reservoirs sector and we are making efforts to pave the road for consultants active in other sectors to get involved in the upstream sector.”

As for the fourth pillar, i.e. management, systems and implementation, he said: “I believe that this pillar is the most important one because advanced management is a product of technology and has the biggest role in the development of technology. In other words, it can develop technologies in addition to being itself a product of technology. Some methods of implementation will lead us to naturally prepare the ground for the development of technology, but some methods of implementation would cause problems for the development of technology.”

Oil Sector Open to Researchers

Zangeneh said research had been racing ahead, adding that the Petroleum Ministry would spare no effort in helping universities.

“The petroleum industry’s doors are open to all researchers today,” he added.

The minister also touched on signing agreements with universities in the downstream oil industry, saying important steps had been taken. He, however, said, the conditions have not been as satisfactory in the upstream sector.

“In the downstream sector, our objective is mainly license, i.e. to be able to develop processes for production in widely-consumed areas like urea, ammonia and olefins. That could create many job opportunities,” he added.  

22 Fields under Study

In 2014, nine agreements were signed between NIOC and universities to study ways of enhanced oil recovery. With these 13 new agreements, Iranian universities have been tasked with conducting studies on 22 fields, worth IRR 10,090 billion plus €49 million.

In the first step of this technological interaction, enhanced recovery studies in the Azadegan oil field had been assigned to the Institute of Petroleum Engineering affiliated with the University of Tehran, in the Darquain field to the Amir Kabir University of Technology, in the Soroush oil field to the Sahand University of Technology, in the Ahvaz field to the Petroleum University of Technology, in the Karanj field to the Islamic Azad University, in the Kupal field to the Sharif University of Technology, in the Mansouri field to the Shiraz University, in the Gachsaran field to the Petroleum University of Technology, and in the Bibi Hakimieh field to RIPI.

Based on the new agreements, development of the Yadavaran field was assigned to the University of Tehran, the South Pars field to the Sharif University of Technology, the Alvand field to the Amir Kabir University of Technology, the Rag Sefid field to RIPI, the Masjed Soleiman field to the Sahand University of Technology, the Esfand field to the Shiraz University, the Forouzan field to the Petroleum University of Technology, the Khesht field to Islamic Azad University, the Binak field to Ferdowsi Mashhad, the Doroud field to the University of Science and Technology, the Tang Bijar field to Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, the Maroun field to the Isfahan University of Technology and the Norouz field to the Persian Gulf University.

 Addressing the ceremony, Masoud Karbasian CEO of NIOC said that a total of 20 oil fields and 2 gas fields would be studied by universities and research centers across Iran.

He said under the terms of the 13 agreements signed with universities, studies will be conducted over a 10-year period.

Karbasian said the 20 fields which Iranian universities and research studies would study, constitute 50% of Iranian oil reserves in place (53% of total recoverable oil).

He added that the research agreements signed for the South Pars and Tang Bijar gas fields would assign about 40$ of recoverable gas reserves in the country to  be studied by universities. That is worth more than IRR 10,080 billion plus €50 million.

Karbasian said the agreements, in the first phase, would be worth IRR 2,930 billion plus €14 million for a 10-year period.

“Another plan – Fast-Track Study – is under way for a period of 6 to 12 months with a view to estimating in-place hydrocarbon reserves, recoverable deposits and recovery rate, predicting the output of wells in the well-oriented scenarios, presenting scenarios for enhanced production, presenting a final report on production scenarios as well as prioritization and economic estimation,” he said.

Karbasian said the nine fields, whose agreement was signed in 2014, constitute totally 36% of Iran’s oil reserves in place (41% of recoverable oil).

Technology Centers at Universities

Karbasian touched on the achievements of the project, specifying the possibility of enhanced recovery from the fields, developing screening software on enhanced recovery methods, compiling a databank for each reservoir and developing geological and reservoir models for the fields.

“The major step has been taken in this project in the sector of technology and innovation, which is equipping laboratories of universities and setting up innovation centers and taking action for launching research-technology centers at various universities,” he said.

Karbasian said based on the terms of enhanced recovery agreements, a technology center for asphaltene sedimentation studies would be set up at the Amir Kabir University of Technology, an smart water technology center at the Sharif University of Technology, a polymer technology center at the Sahand University of Technology, a digital stones technology center at the University of Tehran, a detection technology center at Amir Kabir University of Technology, a technology center for production mechanisms of fractured reservoirs at the Islamic Azad University and also at RIPI.

Formation of innovative and technological networks inside the country and sometimes in partnership with international companies from France, the Netherlands and Austria, as well as partnership with knowledge-based companies is under review. Five of the universities (University of Science and Technology, University of Persian Gulf, Isfahan University of Technology, Ferdowsi University and Shahid Chamran University) were not involved in the first phase.

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum

News Code 309335

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